Hay fever, nasal allergies, pollinosis (Eng.)
Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is a reaction to airborne allergens. When a susceptible person inhales a specific allergen, the body responds by releasing histamine, a substance that causes itching, swelling and mucus production.
May occur seasonally (hay fever) or throughout the year (perennial rhinitis).
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Antihistamines antagonize the effects of histamine. Side Effects: Drowsiness, dizziness, headache, loss of appetite, stomach upset, vision changes, irritability, dry mouth, and nose. Consult a doctor or a pharmacist if the following conditions are present: glaucoma, liver/kidney disease, epilepsy. Drug Interaction: Not to be taken simultaneously w/ CNS depressants, MAOI, erythromycin, cimetidine, ketoconazole.
Corticosteroids provide relief for inflamed areas of the body. They lessen swelling, redness, itching, and allergic reactions. Side Effects: Long-term use may cause weight gain, stomach ulcers, sleeping difficulties, increased blood pressure, increased blood sugar, delayed wound healing, reduced ability to fight infection.
Decongestants reduce the blood supply to the swollen membranes by narrowing the blood vessels. Decongestant nasal sprays and nose drops may cause a problem called rebound congestion if used repeatedly over several days. Drug Interactions: Do not use w/ MAOI, antidepressants, beta-blockers.
Leukotrienes Antagonist reduce inflammation